Sextantio Albergo Diffuso is not just a hotel; it’s a perfect example for an Inside Europe sight-sleeping experience. Located in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a picturesque medieval hilltop village in the Abruzzo region of Italy, this one-of-a-kind hotel is tucked away up a minor road above L’Aquila in the mountainous region of Abruzzo. It’s as far away from mainstream tourism as you can get in Italy. And that’s part of the charm of this unique stay. The hotel’s deeply rooted in the history and traditions of this remote region.
Take a look at this stunning 4 star hotel that’s also a passion and revitalization project. Before the hotel was created, the Santo Stefano di Sessanio was almost completely abandoned and in ruinous disrepair. Obviously, it’s been since rebuilt and given a vigorous new lease on life. Staying here immerses you in an unusual and inspiring place where the traditional local architecture, landscape, history, and culture have been lovingly restored and revived, and thereby salvaged from cultural extinction.
What’s an Albergo Diffuso?
One obvious difference of a so-called ‘Albergo Diffuso’ to traditional hotels is the unique setup: The rooms and facilities are randomly scattered about the medieval hilltop town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. With space for up to 50 travelers, guest rooms combine the old medieval walls with modern elements. Every of the 30 room’s unique, and there are also family rooms or quarters that can easily accommodate three adults. Some of the suites feature open fire places, others oval Philippe Starck bath tubs.
The rooms are lived-in spaces that have evolved over generations. If these walls could talk, oh the stories they could tell. To learn more about the Sextantio project and its mission, click on the link.
- Historical Significance: Santo Stefano di Sessanio traces its origins back to the Middle Ages and has maintained its architectural integrity throughout the centuries. The village was once a flourishing trade and agricultural center but faced decline in the 20th century. Sextantio Albergo Diffuso was established as part of a restoration project aimed at preserving the town’s historical heritage. Rather than constructing a single building, the hotel is dispersed throughout various restored medieval dwellings in the village, offering guests a unique chance to live the history.
- Location: Nestled within the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, the village offers breathtaking views of the Apennine Mountains. Its elevated position ensures a cool climate in summer and snowy landscapes in winter. The location is ideal for those looking to immerse themselves in the Abruzzo region, its history, nature, with plenty of opportunities to become part of this special place.
- Culinary Delights: The Abruzzo region is known for its rich culinary traditions. Local specialties include “arrosticini” (skewered lamb or mutton), “maccheroni alla chitarra” (a local type of pasta), and “scrippelle” (crepes often served in soup). The village chefs (and locals) takes pride in using fresh, regional ingredients, ensuring authentic flavors. Additionally, the region is home to Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a renowned red wine.
In summary, Sextantio Albergo Diffuso in Santo Stefano di Sessanio offers an unparalleled blend of history, scenic beauty, and culinary delights, making it a unique destination for our travelers seeking an authentic off the beaten path Italian countryside experience.
Curious to learn more. Take a look at this Michelin article “The Tale of A Town that Became a Hotel”.
And if you’ve not yet heard of Abruzzo, you’re missing out:
Abruzzo: Italy’s Region with 2 Hearts + 1 Soul
The official Italian website italia.it calls Abruzzo “the central Italian region that has two souls and one heart”. Predominantly mountainous and hilly, it overlooks a beautiful stretch of the Adriatic Sea. Here, you will find the highest peaks of the Apennines, such as the Gran Sasso and the Majella massif, as well as the only Apennine glacier, but also some of the most popular beaches. During the 4 day/4 night stay in Abruzzo, our travelers will experience this often overlooked, but oh so special destination with all their senses. Abruzzo is also home to some of Italy’s most picturesque villages. Not only will our WRA visiting these charming places, but you’ll also sight-sleep in one of these beautiful borghi perched high on the hilltop: Santo Stefano in Sessanio.